AFLX to carry same match review scrutiny as season proper

Players have been warned next month's AFLX exhibition competition will be policed the same way and carry the same penalties as a regular-season game.

Match review officer Michael Christian met with the AFL on Wednesday to clarify his responsibilities through the new format, which will be unveiled next month.

"I will be doing AFLX. The general view is that, hopefully, there won't be too much to adjudicate on given the style of the game but I will still be looking at the games," he said.

AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said the same penalties would apply as if it was the JLT pre-season competition.

"Any MRP matter from AFLX is the same as the JLT competition. Player would miss games from round one onwards but be able to play in the remainder of the pre-season," he said.

AFLX is the league's new bite-sized format, with hopes the seven-a-side competition could be transported overseas because it is played on a rectangular field. League chiefs also hope it could attract new local supporters.

The league's 18 teams will compete in three groups over three days in three different states, and will be officially unveiled on February 15 at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide.

Matches will also be held at Allianz Stadium in Sydney and Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.

There will be a last-touch rule for balls that go out of bounds. The ball will be kicked in by the opposition team after each score. Goals from outside 40m will be worth 10 points.

Matches are made up of two 10-minute halves with a two-minute break at half-time.

Clubs have yet to indicate who will take to the field, as there is debate over whether it's best suited to young, emerging players for fear of injury to senior talent. However, the concept is seen as a good part of the pre-season preparation.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood has said the Cats will take the concept seriously, although it's unclear yet whether he or his senior teammates will take to the field at Hindmarsh Stadium.

"It's a pretty exciting concept, especially that time of the year where it gives players a chance to work on their fitness and see a bit of a new game," he said.

"It's going to be seven on seven, pretty quick up and back I would have thought, short periods of time, so it's not going to take a hell of a lot out of the guys but it's definitely going to make you work."

AFLX Fixture

Pool A: Hindmarsh Stadium, Thursday February 15

Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Geelong, Port Adelaide, West Coast

Pool B: Etihad Stadium, Friday February 16

Carlton, Essendon, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne, St Kilda

Pool C: Allianz Stadium, Saturday February 17

Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast, Greater Western Sydney, Richmond, Sydney, Western Bulldogs

This story AFLX to carry same match review scrutiny as season proper first appeared on The Age.